Corruption sentence for former DeKalb school official reduced

Former DeKalb County Schools Chief Operating Officer Pat Reid received a reduced sentence Tuesday as part of a plea deal with the district attorney’s office on a 2013 racketeering conviction.

Under the new agreement, Judge Gregory Adams said Reid will serve five years of a ten-year sentence on charges of theft by taking. An order for her to pay $5,000 in restitution to the DeKalb school district remains in force.

By taking the deal, Reid also waived her right to challenge the sentence.

Reid was serving a 15-year sentence on charges of theft by taking and racketeering. The deal came amid concerns about that previous case and because a new trial would cost the county manpower and money.

"It was the best thing," DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. "There was a potential appellate issue with the way a juror was dismissed. It wasn't clear we were going to win the issue. It wasn't clear we were going to lose the issue. We negotiated this plea because we felt like it was the best thing for the citizens of DeKalb County."

Reid and her ex-husband, Anthony Pope, who were still married at the time of the crimes, were found guilty of manipulating contracts worth $1.4 million, including $150,000 Pope was paid that he wasn’t entitled to receive.

A jury found them guilty in November 2013.

Reid and Pope had been released in December because former Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker found they had been convicted on testimony, by former DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis, that wasn't truthful. Lewis reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to a misdemeanor just before the trial began. Reid argued he wasn't truthful when he testified against her.

The Georgia Court of Appeals overturned Becker’s decision, and the case landed before Adams because Becker has retired. Adams ordered Reid and Pope back to prison last month, saying in his order that Reid might well have been convicted anyway.

Even with the new plea deal, Reid appeared hesitant to admit her guilt publicly when asked by the prosecuting attorney if agreeing to the deal meant she was doing so.

“Yes,” she said, after pausing, then looking to her attorney for direction.

Pope, scheduled to appear in court July 22, could see his sentence reduced as well.

James said his office has been in contact with Pope’s attorney, but declined to comment further. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution tried to contact Pope’s attorney but had not heard back from him Tuesday afternoon.

“We expect to take a look at his case,” James said.

Some recently convicted officials in DeKalb County:

• The former head of construction for DeKalb schools, Pat Reid, and Tony Pope, the architect ex-husband of Reid, were convicted of racketeering and sentenced to eight years in 2013.

• Former school superintendent Crawford Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, obstructing an investigation, to avoid the possibility of being convicted of racketeering along with Reid and Pope. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail but is appealing that, arguing that his plea agreement was for probation.

• Former DeKalb Commissioner Elaine Boyer is serving a 14-month sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding taxpayers of more than $100,000. Her husband, John, pleaded guilty for his role in the same scheme and will be sentenced in August.

• A former division manager with a janitorial service pleaded guilty May 26 to federal conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official. Cecil Clark admitted he provided an apartment to the man who oversaw janitorial services for both DeKalb County and at the Georgia World Congress Center in hopes of getting contracts with both the county and the state for Alabama-based Rite Way Service. He will be sentenced July 31.

Patrick Jackson, a former DeKalb County and Georgia World Congress Center custodial services manager, pleaded guilty to federal charges he steered janitorial work to Alabama-based Rite Way Service in exchange for a luxury apartment, furniture and utilities. He will be sentenced July 16.

• DeKalb grease inspector Dameco Moss pleaded guilty in May 2011 to bribery and theft for strong-arming restaurant owners for money. He was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay restitution.

Jerry Clark, a former member of the DeKalb Zoning Board of Appeals, pleaded guilty in February to taking a bribe for his vote. His sentencing date is pending.


OCTOBER 2004: Crawford Lewis becomes DeKalb superintendent. He later hires Pat Reid to oversee construction of new schools funded by the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.

MAY 2010: Lewis, Reid, her husband Tony Pope and Reid's assistant are indicted. (The assistant is dismissed from the case, then later dies.) Lewis is fired.

OCTOBER, 2013: Trial of Reid and Pope begins, with Lewis testifying against his former co-defendants.

NOVEMBER, 2013: The jury reaches guilty verdicts.

DECEMBER 2013: DeKalb County Judge Cynthia Becker sentences Reid and Pope and rejects Lewis' plea agreement that spared him jail time. Becker later questioned "credibility" and "believability" of his testimony.

OCTOBER 2014: Georgia Court of Appeals overrules Lewis' sentence, essentially saying he was treated unfairly. Lewis sent back to judge for resentencing by Becker. Appeals court says if judge believes his testimony untruthful, it may call into question the validity of the Pope and Reid convictions. Becker orders new trials for Pope and Reid.

NOVEMBER 2014: Judge Becker, under investigation for her handling of the case, sends her letter of resignation to Gov. Nathan Deal.

JUNE 2015: A judge denies Reid's request for a new trial.


In 2009 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution questioned construction contracts involving architect Tony Pope, who was married to DeKalb schools’ chief operating officer. The AJC also reported Superintendent Crawford Lewis and COO Pat Reid had bought their county cars at deeply discounted prices. The three were indicted in 2010, and the AJC tracked the case as it came to trial 3 1/2 years later, and continued afterward with appeals and other court rulings. Follow our coverage at our premium website,